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United drops plan to charge for Europe meals

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  September 2, 2008 04:57 PM

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News from the wonderful world of airlines:

Bowing to pressure from passengers, United has decided to drop a plan to start charging passengers in coach for meals on some overseas flights, citing "candid feedback'' from customers.
United had intended to charge $6 for snack boxes and $9 for salads and sandwiches in coach on flights from Dulles to Europe starting Oct. 1.
Robin Urbanski, a United spokeswoman, told Bloomberg News that not only were passengers miffed at the prospect of having to pay for food they were also not happy that they couldn't get a hot meal (have these people ever eaten airline food?).
United did go ahead with plans to end free snacks in coach. Earlier the carrier dropped the freebies on shorter flights and yesterday halted them on flights of longer than two hours.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Starting Sept. 9, Southwest says it will no longer take cash for payment of cocktails, beer, wine, and Lo-Carb Monster energy drinks.
Instead the discounter says that it will accept credit and debit cards and Rapid Rewards drink coupons.
The really important news, however, is that Southwest plans to keep offering free snacks and soft drinks.

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3 comments so far...
  1. "Candid feedback" huh? That's an interesting way for United to describe it. Obviously, cutting corners is becoming more and more prevalent but I wonder if these airlines are putting enough focus on their branding and repeat business. A customer who gives "candid" feedback is probably much less likely to fly with an airline in the future.

    Posted by Dan B. September 3, 08 08:32 AM
  1. The candid feedback they got was a HUGE drop in bookings. Our corporate travel removed all United international flights from availability on our corporate booking tool days after this was announced.

    Posted by DanK September 4, 08 07:25 AM
  1. Hi all!
    Nice site!

    Bye

    Posted by NeenEngaday October 1, 08 05:54 AM
 
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